For the first time,FARE expanded Food Allergy Awareness Week in 2014 by declaring the entire month of May as Food Allergy Action Month. We would like to thank all of you who contributed by taking action – whether it was educating others about food allergies and life-threatening anaphylaxis, making a donation, signing up for a FARE Walk for Food Allergy, advocating on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, or wearing teal. We were thrilled to see many wonderful photos of people and pets rocking their teal for our #TealTakeover – be sure to check out our photo album on Storify!
Highlights of our first Food Allergy Action Month included:
- Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia issued Food Allergy Awareness Week proclamations, and U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced a resolution into Congress.
- The incredible mom-daughter duo of “Fashion by Mayhem” raised awareness and funds for FARE with their first dress auction. The dress sold for $355 – a generous donation for a dress made from paper and packaging tape!
- FARE’s Twitter chat (#FAREChat) provided answers to questions submitted by the community about food allergies and anaphylaxis from Drs. Ruchi Gupta and Wayne Shreffler.
- Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland was lit teal on May 12 and the Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, NC was lit teal on May 18.
- Food allergy musician Kyle Dine joined in our #TealTakeover and sang at the Food Allergy Education Network’s annual Dance-A-Thon in Connecticut; his performance was sponsored by FARE as part of our Community Outreach Grants Program.
- Recipe Rehab, a competition cooking show, featured a family managing food allergies in an episode sponsored by FARE.
- Students in schools across the country dressed in teal and helped educate their peers about food allergies through presentations and by reading facts over the school public address systems.
- Numerous media outlets featured stories about Food Allergy Action Month and Food Allergy Awareness Week, including The Huffington Post, Charlotte Observer, Salt Lake Tribune, and About.com.
- A 100-ft-long soy nut butter and jelly sandwich was constructed in the Chicago area to bring the community together and highlight the issue of food allergies.
- FARE’s “Give $15 on the 15th” campaign received great support from the food allergy community in honor of the 15 million Americans with food allergies.
It truly has been a tremendous month, but in order to make a real and lasting difference, we need each member of the food allergy community to continue taking action on behalf of those with food allergies beyond just the month of May. Check out our Action Challenge List for suggested actions you can take throughout the year to make an impact!
We are grateful for and inspired by the food allergy community’s efforts during FARE’s first Food Allergy Action Month to take action and raise awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis. Food Allergy Action Month was a huge success, and now it’s time to take it to the next level!
You can join us in making a real and lasting difference year-round by creating your own Food Allergy Action Challenge! Here’s how you do it: make a list of ways that you want to make an impact and schedule them each month throughout the year. Check out our sample Food Allergy Action Challenge list below for ideas on how to get started! We’ve provided some ideas here to get you started – one for each month leading up to next year’s awareness week!
|FARE Food Allergy Action Challenge 2014-2015
||Continue learning about food allergies by attending the FARE National Food Allergy Conference and our free educational webinars, or viewing an archived webinar.
||Sign up for a FARE Walk for Food Allergy, recruit others to join you, and set a fundraising goal. You can also find other events in your region by connecting with your FARE Regional Office.
||During Back to School season you can help spread the word about the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s, “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs.” Find out how on our blog.
||Connect with others by joining a support group, and work with other local food allergy families or hosting a presentation at your school or office.
||Share our SafeFARE flyer with restaurants in your area to encourage them to get allergen-trained and added to our database.
||Learn about FARE’s strategic plan for research. If you or your child is interested in participating in a clinical trial, sign up for ResearchMatch.
||Join our Advocates Network to make your voice heard on federal and state legislation.
||Create your own fundraiser. From participating in athletic challenges to having a lemonade stand in your front yard, there are lots of ways to create a fundraising event to help raise funds for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness programs. Your event will not only support FARE’s mission, it will spark a conversation about food allergies, giving you an opportunity to educate others in your community.
||Spread the word on social media by sharing facts and resources like our infographic, Discovery Channel documentary, “An Emerging Epidemic: Food Allergies in America,” and food allergy bullying “It’s Not a Joke” PSA.
||Become a FARE member. Every new member makes a difference and helps us turn up the volume on critical food allergy issues.
||Plan ahead for the next Food Allergy Awareness Week and Food Allergy Action Month. Putting up posters, making a presentation, or planning a awareness or fundraising event are just some of the ways you can help support the food allergy cause. Prep ahead by downloading our free resources.
Thank you again for your support of FARE and efforts to raise awareness and take action last month! We look forward to continuing to build momentum throughout the year to make the world a better place for all those with food allergies.